It was a great October at the Center!

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Here’s what you missed at the Center for Total Health in October

October was a busy month at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. We were proud to host a variety of groups for tours and meetings. We began the month with The American Society of Hematology (ASH) leadership team joining us for their planning meeting, using the Center’s exhibits and healthy meeting policies as a backdrop for productive planning efforts to further their mission. The Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), a public-private partnership with the sole objective of advancing medical device regulatory science, held their member meeting at the Center, while the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC)  met with contractors supporting health IT infrastructure and systems architecture for the NIH.

The Center welcomed several additional groups to advance their work in a wide variety of health arenas:

As always, Kaiser Permanente hosted several of its own meetings at the Center with key stakeholders and opinion leaders. While Kaiser Permanente International hosted The World Bank and influential representatives from multiple Latin American countries to brainstorm ways to improve their health care systems, other departments across Kaiser Permanente hosted meetings with the Association of Mutual Health Insurance Company (AMHIC) and the Federal Health Benefit Officers to discuss benefits and range of service offerings available to its members.

Throughout October, the Center also welcomed various tour groups including: the Canadian Embassy, George Washington University’s Department of Health Policy Fellows and staff members from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

We closed the month with attendees from the American College of Emergency Medicine conference participating in an evening reception at the Center with Kaiser Permanente staff and physicians. The Center was also proud to serve as a backdrop for a video production on clinical excellence.

If you would like to know more about the above meetings, we would be happy to introduce you to key contacts at any of the participating organizations. At the Center, we take pride in helping make meaningful connections between our guests and advance the initiatives discussed here.

Launching in November: We’ll begin preliminary tours for our new Mental Health and Wellness tour at the Center. If you would like a preview, make sure to schedule a time to see the content currently in development. At the Center, we are working with various departments across Kaiser Permanente to destigmatize mental health issues and promote access to care and other resources.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – feature healthy catering options and can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Meeting

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Lunchtime often provides a crucial moment to refresh during a hectic workday, conference or meeting. But without carefully considering the nutritional value of this midday meal, people can often find themselves in a post-lunch slump, or even tugging at their tightening waist bands as the weeks go by.

Seemingly balanced lunch options can hide a lot of calories. A typical boxed lunch of a turkey sandwich, apple, small bag of potato chips and cookie can stack up to almost 1,400 calories. With national nutritional guidelines recommending approximately 700 calories per meal, eating those extra calories even once a week can add up to gain of more than 10 pounds per year.

Sugary sodas, juices, and other artificially sweetened beverages also play a leading role in sabotaging healthy eating. Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, asserts that Americans drink 46 gallons of soda and sweetened beverages each year, contributing to consumption of 71 pounds of sugar and 85 pounds of corn syrup annually.

Kaiser Permanente has made it easier for its employees, patients, and visitors to enjoy healthier options without the guess work and calorie counting through guidelines containing criteria for making healthier food choices. Established in 2005 by the Healthy Picks Committee – a group of registered dieticians, food service directors, nutritionists and physicians – these guidelines help determine what options are available to hospital patients and in cafeterias. The guidelines also serve as the basis for Kaiser Permanente’s Healthy Catered Food Policy, which requires vendors who provide meals for on-site meetings and events to provide healthy food options, like at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health.

The Center for Total Health is committed to partnering with organizations to host healthy meetings that drive focus and creativity by serving nutritious food and incorporating activity into meetings that can otherwise be sedentary affairs. By requiring that caterers who provide food for the Center adhere to the policy’s guidelines, event organizers and attendees are rest assured they’re enjoying healthy and delicious meals during their meetings.

Taking a cue from Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to healthy eating habits, workplaces and employees can work together to get everyone involved in sharing healthy meals:

  • Encourage employees to make water interesting by infusing fruits, vegetables and herbs, like in these healthy drink recipes;
  • Provide healthier on-site beverage options – like sparkling water, tea and coffee – instead of sugary beverages;
  • Plan a Smoothie Social and provide employees with information on the excessive sugars found in many prepared smoothies, and then work together to make healthier smoothies that include unsweetened yogurt as a protein and base, whole fresh fruit instead of juice, lots of nutritious greens like spinach and kale, and add-ins like nuts, spices or herbs; and
  • Host a BYOS (Build Your Own Salad) event and invite employees to bring in their favorite ingredient for a salad bar.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – feature healthy catering options and can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Here’s what you missed at the Center for Total Health in September

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The status of your health extends far beyond the four walls of a medical center and what most consider traditional “health care.” Events hosted in September at the center highlighted a variety of organizations’ exciting efforts to tackle the bigger picture of health at an individual, community, and even global level.

  • Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO, and Stephen Parodi, MD, EVP of External Affairs, Communications and Brand of the Permanente Federation, hosted the Partnership for Quality Care’s (PQC’s) annual “The Path Forward” event, focusing on the future of health care reform. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sarah Kliff, senior policy correspondent for shared their perspective with members of the coalition that represents 50 million patients nationwide.
  • Feeding America and the National Council on Aging co-hosted an event that focused on ways to “Close the Senior SNAP Gap.” Only 41% of eligible seniors nationwide are enrolled and receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and the convening leveraged the human centered innovation design process to involve seniors in designing solutions for programmatic improvements, communications and policy, as well as exploring other innovative opportunities to expand access to this benefit.
  • 100 Million Lives hosted workgroups on “Measuring Wellbeing in Communities” and advancing the implementation of metrics around the landscape of wellbeing across the U.S. Participants worked to identify a measurement approach for population health that could stand alone as a resource or be integrated into existing surveys.
  • The BUILD Health Challenge brought together a new cohort of awardees from 20+ cities across the U.S. to meet with funders, partners and guest speakers for networking and sharing best practices. The BUILD Health Challenge is creating a new norm by putting multi-sector community partnerships at the center of health to reduce health disparities caused by system-based or social inequality.
  • A meeting hosted by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and the Democracy Collaborative, reminded us that supplier diversity is another effective lever to improve community health by growing local economies. The forum included presentations by local medical and educational institutions on best practices in purchasing to stimulate small and minority businesses in the District. Kaiser Permanente is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, a group of employers that invest at least $1 billion dollars with minority and woman-owned suppliers in our communities.
  • The Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality and Mental Health America worked together to define the next generation of behavioral health strategies. This meeting is the first in a series to be held at the Center as Kaiser Permanente launches a public service campaign called “Find Your Words” to combat the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • The San Diego Chamber of Commerce and businesses from across the city converged at the Center to talk about what lies ahead in health care reform and other local issues. That evening, the Association of California Cities-Orange County held a networking reception during their meetings in DC, and we were proud to feature a new display on Kaiser Permanente hospitals and our newly opened San Diego Medical Center.
  • International visitors were also welcomed at the Center in September. Kaiser Permanente’s Coalition of Trade Unions hosted an Argentine delegation with Louise (Lu) Casa, MSN, CRNP, CTTS, a nurse practitioner in adult medicine, and our own Union Ambassador who answered questions about health in the workplace and beyond. American University sponsored a Korean executive delegation interested in learning more about Kaiser Permanente’s electronic health records and digital health approaches.

We want to thank our guests for considering the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health as not only a background for their conversations, but as a partner in helping to facilitate the next phase of their work.

More exciting events are planned for this fall, including our next “Thriving after 60” event, which features educational workshops led by expert physicians, therapists, and health educators, in addition to wellness activities including yoga and meditation sessions, sexual health seminars, massages, and more. This event, planned for November 13, 2017, is open to the public at our medical center next door – learn more and register here.

We also encourage you to check back soon to learn more information about a special tour we will offer on addressing mental health issues in health care.

Lastly, don’t forget to get your flu shot! Free flu vaccinations are available at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts both internal and external educational events; full-day educational programs are also available for a fee through Kaiser Permanente International. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website and follow us on Twitter at @KPTotalHealth. We look forward to hearing from you!

Center for Total Health Welcomes Workgroup on Measuring Wellbeing in Communities

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On September 8, leaders in measurement development convened at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health to launch their workgroup on Measuring Wellbeing in Communities: Advancing Implementation of National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS) Recommendations. Together with 100 Million Healthier Lives  ,the workgroup brought together thought leaders from academia, the government and medical community to brainstorm and develop a preliminary measure set for measuring wellbeing in the U.S.

100 Million Healthier Lives  is a global community of change makers who are transforming thought and action on improving health, wellbeing, and equity and is a partner of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Soma Stout, MD, MS, executive lead of 100 Million Healthier Lives and vice president at IHI, set the stage by sharing the importance of wellbeing as a lens to understanding health. Matt Stiefel, MPA, MS, from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Population Health and lead of the 100 Million Healthier Lives Metrics Team, discussed why a common measurement of wellbeing was needed. Robert Phillips, co-chair of the Population Health Subcommittee at NCVHS, and Carley Riley, MD, MPP, MHS, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, highlighted results from preliminary studies on measurement of overall wellbeing.

The duration of the meeting focused on identifying ways to build on the current NCVHS framework for measurement of wellbeing, with attendees working together in breakout sessions to identify a process by which these measures could be reviewed, finalized and connected with a second workgroup focusing on implementation of wellbeing metrics.

When asked why it was important to have this workgroup launch with the specific thought leaders in attendance, Dr. Stout explained, “If our country is going to have far better health and life outcomes, we need to change what we measure to focus much more broadly on what creates wellbeing – mental, physical, social and inspirational wellbeing.”

Dr. Stout further elaborated, “As we help people think differently and ground themselves around the concept of wellbeing, we felt it was crucial to invite national leaders from groups all across the country that are beginning to work on this and are providing both federal and nonfederal leadership to come together, create a common vision of what it could look like to measure wellbeing and begin to propose measures and move them into implementation in a way that we can learn what actually creates wellbeing.”

For more information on 100 Million Healthier Lives’ upcoming events, including their Fall Gathering, please click here.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health hosts internal and external educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – can be customized to incorporate the interactive exhibits that make the Center for Total health experience both fun and informative for attendees. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hearing from you!

Physician researchers build bridges to health care innovation

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A new joint program of The Permanente Medical Group and the Division of Research in Northern California encourages Kaiser Permanente clinicians to devote part of their careers to conducting research.

The six physicians in the  inaugural class of the Physician Researcher Program will devote 20 to 40 percent of their time to research projects designed to systematically evaluate and improve clinical care. The physician researchers will then have the opportunity to disseminate and implement the relevant learnings across Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

“We will invest in them becoming researchers, while they remain active in clinical practice the majority of the time,” said Philip Madvig, MD, TPMG associate executive director.

To learn more, go to the Division of Research’s Spotlight blog.

The Importance of Immunizations as Kids Head Back to School

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As the new school year approaches, pediatricians are reminding parents of the crucial role immunizations play in keeping kids healthy.

“Immunizations can help your body develop resistance to specific diseases and increase your immunity to them,” said Karina Maher, MD, a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Monica Medical Offices. “It’s very important for the whole family to be up to date on vaccines to protect themselves, their children and the community.”

August is also National Immunization Awareness Month, and Dr. Maher says following the recommended immunization schedule is one of the most important things parents can do to protect their child’s health.

Disease can quickly spread among groups of children who are unvaccinated, and the child’s body may not be strong enough to fight the disease. Before vaccines, many children died from diseases that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping cough, measles and polio.

In fact, the flu causes more deaths each year than any other vaccine-preventable disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some parents are concerned about the impact of vaccines, and are fearful that certain vaccines may play a role in children developing autism.

“There have been a lot of false claims in the news, but thorough studies have found no link between vaccines and autism,” Dr. Maher said. “Immunizations are very safe, even if your child has, or is, recovering from a minor illness such as a cold or ear infection, or even if they have a slight fever.”

To read the full story, check out KP Share for news and views from Kaiser Permanente.

Celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Initiatives at the Center for Total Health

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During National Breastfeeding Month, Kaiser Permanente is highlighting the importance of breastfeeding as one component of good maternal and child health. Through several initiatives, including our breastfeeding pledge and educational and health-focused opportunities through our Center for Total Health, Kaiser Permanente is working to promote a variety of healthy lifestyle choices for infants and mothers – including new moms returning to the workforce. Check out KP Share for a recent article, “Catching On to Latching On: A Formula for Breastfeeding Success.”

mother laying down with newborn resting on her chest

At Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health, interactive exhibits give visitors an opportunity to explore maternal and child health needs. The Center also provides a variety of health-related options for businesses convening meetings or other events, such as healthy catering options and meetings that incorporate physical activity to stimulate both the mind and the body.

The Center for Total Health hosts both internal and external organizations educational events. All events – including annual banquets, quarterly meetings, trainings, interviews – leverage Healthy Meeting Tools. The Center for Total Health Staff thrive to create an environment that is both fun and informative. Most of all, we take great pride in supporting your event and our high guest satisfaction scores prove it. If your organization is interested in hosting an event, please send us an event request via our website. We look forward to hosting you!




Walking Meetings: Taking Total Health Outdoors

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“Total health is more than a visit to the doctor, and more than your medical care,” says Keith Montgomery, Executive Director of the Center for Total Health. “It is all those things, but it’s also your environment and your community.”

Walking meetings are one way the Center implements its community-focused approach to total health. Offered for events hosted at the Center, the on-the-move meetings are designed to get attendees’ minds and bodies active. Walking meetings don’t have to be a break from productivity – the ten to thirty-minute routes can be used as a brainstorm, ice-breaker or reflection.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary Conference in Washington, D.C., the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) joined the Center for a tour and walking meeting in late July. SNEB’s mission is to increase nutrition education at the individual, community and policy level. Its members work to address nutrition needs around the world, aligning with the Center’s efforts to help underserved communities gain access to healthy food.

The Center took SNEB members on a 20-minute walking meeting through the neighborhoods surrounding Washington’s Union Station. As we walked, SNEB member and founder of The Harvest Kitchen Jean Crum-Jones discussed the many benefits of being active outside, even on a hot D.C. summer day. Just a few minutes of physical activity can boost focus and creativity, an asset for meetings, classrooms and conferences.

As we walked through D.C.’s Stanton Park, Jean was excited to learn about the Center’s involvement with Park Rx, a program which connects people to safe, public spaces in their communities. By prescribing park visits to families, Park Rx can improve physical and mental health through exercise, foster a love for nature and encourage families to spend time together away from screens. Like walking meetings, our partnership with Park Rx is an example of the Center’s commitment to integrating total health into communities and lifestyles.

For Jean, this common-sense approach to improving total health for businesses and communities was the most impactful part of visiting the Center. Because of the Center’s walking meeting, she learned about a program that she can implement through her volunteer work in her home state of Connecticut.

The Center for Total Health hosts hundreds of events for organizations like SNEB every year, many of which take advantage of the Center’s walking meetings. If you are looking to host an event – whether it’s a small meeting, set of interviews or elaborate gala – the Center provides the perfect venue for highlighting innovation in healthcare. Our staff will work with you on how to create a healthier meeting that is fun, unique and informative. We have a wide array of event options to make the most out of your gathering. If you’re interested in planning an event, visit our events and tours page and send us a request.

Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Will Care About Student Wellbeing

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In 2019, Kaiser Permanente will be opening a Medical School located in Southern California. Currently, medical leaders are convening to put the finishing touches on an academically advanced curriculum incorporating total health for the incoming Fall 2019 class.

Part of total health is improving the environment and the support systems around you.  This is especially important for medical students who often tend to become burned out from their academic and career demands.  Improper environments from academics can have a negative impact on a persons’ physical and mental health both short-term and long-term.  Directors of the Kaiser Permanente Medical School are aware of the health impacts medical students often face and are working towards reversing these statistics.

This past April, the directors of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine established a plan to combat student burn-out.  To learn more about their accomplishments, please click here!